One of the dispositions on which religion is based is self effort. But the life that is ours in Christ is based on choice - a choosing to believe in Christ’s effort. This is the repeated choosing to understand and believe that Father has given us His Son to make us alive in Christ.
'For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus' Gal 3.26 NASB.
There's a try harder culture that pervades cultural Christianity that does no one any good. It comes from the human tendency to be self-determining, to be in charge and to be the masters of our own salvation, not to mention the need to earn approval and love. When Satan said, 'You will be as gods' he did not tell them that they would become enslaved to the work of seeking the love of God and each other or that this would become their bondage. When Jesus came to set the captives free, the freedom He offered was the liberty that results from not having to earn the right to be loved by the Father.
The pressure to earn God's approval and love is subtle. We hear that God is a God of relationship and intimacy then set about to be intimate with Him. Intimacy becomes another thing we have to do. The fact is though, Jesus lives in you and is with you by the Holy Spirit. Because of the cross, intimacy is a done deal which God achieved and you have nothing to do with - other than to live in the reality of what He has done.
'I in them and you in me--so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me' John 17.23 NIV.
Similarly we hear phrases like, 'We need to keep close to Jesus' and come to believe that our Christian life is 'keeping close to Jesus' which we are not naturally good at and at times go out of our way to avoid. The result is we try hard, fail and then there's another thing we feel shame and discouragement about. 'Keeping close to Jesus' is an old covenant rendering of that which has changed radically in the new covenant. Christ lives in us. No matter how we feel or how alienated from Him we think we are by our sin or stupidity, we are close of Jesus because of what He has done. Jesus is the way to the Father. Your rights to His presence depend on what Jesus has done. He lives in you and is always there.
'To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory' Col 1.27 NIV.
ONLY ONE GOSPEL
Unity in Christ is not some liberal acceptance of diversity and a belief that all have a right to their own perspective. There are perspectives on things that matter and views on things that don't. The irrefutable fact is that the old has gone and the new has come. If Adam and Moses have not gone with are not the new creation.
'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!' 2 Cor 5.17 NIV.
If we have our own gospel and our own christ we are not part of the body. The new creation began on Sunday morning when the one new man who is the new creation came out of the tomb. This new creation was multiplied at Pentecost when the living Christ entered all who received Him as their life. At the core there is no legitimate perspective other than that Christ is our life. This fact is the new creation genesis of all that is alive. It is the dynamic of His life in us and as us. The glory of Jesus is the diversity of the fruit of the tree of life that is us! Diversity is seen in that we produce much fruit - never in our own version of the cross and salvation.
'Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ' Gal 1.7 NIV.
HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM
Paul described gospels that are not Christ; gospels that differ from His gospel as ‘dung.’ We can sulk our way out of the Kingdom through addictions to un-gospels, spend our lives promoting dung in the name of Bread and dithering about attempting to find some key to resurrect a version of the Christianity that is fundamentally unsound. Have nothing to do with those who create their own gospel by turning the cross on its head to make a small Christ and a crippled you. There's only one apostle’s doctrine and one new and living way. There’s one way alone to be a son in spirit and in truth. It’s Christ our life.
‘They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer’ Acts 2.42 NIV.